Happy bowhunter decks deer in NSW State Forest.

Public Land Hunting Makes Sense


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51 shares, 43 points
Happy bowhunter decks deer in NSW State Forest.
Happy bowhunter decks deer in NSW State Forest.

Of the Eastern states, Victoria and NSW each have public land hunting models administered by their state governments, in Victoria by the Game Management Authority and in NSW by the DPI Game Licensing Unit (GLU). Now the two models are very different in the way they approach licensing hunters to access public land, in NSW primarily in State Forests, while in Victoria there are several National Parks that can also be readily accessed to hunt specific game animals. It is unfortunate that one special interest group has tied up hunting access in a few National Parks in NSW, the requirements even within SSAA NSW membership being very onerous and restrictive to fulfil, while excluding more than 99 percent of licensed hunters from realising the opportunity.

One of my mates, with whom I have occasionally hunted, complained to me that his private hunting access had dried up through no fault if his own and he was angling with me to take him hunting on my blocks, which I was not thrilled to do. If I had 20 or 30 to choose from, I wouldn’t mind, but being a busy city slicker, my access is limited and I wished to keep it sacrosanct.

A blaze hat makes good sense. Animals don't see colour the way we do.

A blaze hat makes good sense. Animals don’t see colour the way we do.

I knew he was an R-Licence holder, because he loved shooting deer for venison and exercise away from the daily grind, so I suggested NSW State Forests. “Blech – they’re all shot out or barren of game. Why would I want to do that?” he blurted. “Because there are some bloody good State Forests around, and not too far from Sydney. Do you know that a record sambar stag was recently shot in Maragle?” I replied.

Interest piqued, he said, “So how do we book a hunt?” Now he had me – I’d never done it. Do what I say, not what I do. Feeling a little embarrassed, I rang my mate Joe Amoroso, prime architect of the GLU’s current Hunter LEAP training packages and he gave me a pretty comprehensive word picture which started with, “Go to the DPI Hunting website and you’ll get a good idea.” After walking me through the process of booking a hunt, he added that I could go to my local Approved Hunting Organisation (AHO), who were licensed trainers under the DPI Hunter LEAP (Learning, Education and Accreditation Program); check with your AHO because not all have signed up as yet.

One of two items always carried when author hunts, a blaze pack cover. Good to drop over antlers being packed out for obvious reasons.
One of two items always carried when author hunts, a blaze pack cover. Good to drop over antlers being packed out for obvious reasons.

So I duly contacted my mate Nigel at the Malabar Hunting Club, completed our test modules successfully and came away with a promising hunt booked. Stay tuned to future issues for the hunters’ progress.

Note: if you want to see a real public land hunt unfold now on YouTube, punch in Aussie Bush Harvest and see Sporting Shooter contributor Alex Proft’s efforts on deer and pigs.


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Marcus O'Dean

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